How To Tell When You’re Saying Yes To Your Worth and NO to Boundary-Stomping Jerks

This year, I’ve met a number of flighty, unreliable types. They chat you up, and they’re super flirtatious. It kinda feels like they create chemistry with everything. Initially, all your warning signs are screaming, “f*** boy/girl, stay away,” but then you find out the guy/girl is kind of creative, or they say something to make you feel special, and you’re in. One date couldn’t be so bad, right?! They ask you on a date (sort of). They don’t really set a time, or a day, and then they text you around the time you sort of agreed on but never finalize plans. A MILLION RED FLAGS. A. MILLION. I know this is a little sad, but the old Ilsa would …


Marriage Is Hard – Guest Blogger + My Mom, Elizabeth Carroll

If I’m being honest, and I am honest to a fault, my marriage is hard right now. Jim and I were married ten years ago and enjoyed an extended five-year honeymoon. Utter, unrealistic bliss! My daughters found us sickening! I think God knew we’d need a season of bliss to look back on because He knows our wounds and they are deep. Deep wounds make it easy to blame and  give up. DON’T. My therapist says that our marriage is providential, meaning that God meant for Jim and I to be together. He is my perfect storm and I am his. He is my iron sharpening iron. I freaking hate it. I want my bliss back!!! Bliss Breaker At year …


Healing from Heartbreak, Betrayal, and Loving the Lonely

Have you ever done something stupid out of loneliness? Spent way too much money on clothes or food, drank too much, abused a substance, kissed a random? I have. The typical aftermath? Shame.hangover. In the midst of a shame hangover, when my inner voice is screaming, “Darn it, Ilsa,” these are the things I preach to myself: There is total compassion for whatever happened. For whatever reason, we needed to experience and learn from that thing we did in response to our loneliness. Trust me – there’s always a lesson. I will not succumb to the lie of shame that bubbles up in an effort to keep me isolated and small. I will reach out to people who love me, …